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Father blossoms

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When I see ‘Father Blossoms’ on the street, it makes me feel warm and hopeful. Is this the start of a blossoming fragrance and productive movement of fathers that changes us and cultivates a new SVG? Am I wishing too much?

BLOSSOMS ON THE STREET

Each time a father makes his way to the daycare and pre-school centre, his child hoisted to his chest, or clasping his hand, I smell blossoms and I bless him for the change he is proclaiming and preparing. {{more}}In my day, those of us who are now grandfathers, did not much hoist our infants on the way to church or wherever. Something is changing and fathers, mothers and infants are bonding in broader, deeper and more mature relationships; not just in the home, but on the streets in town and countryside, i.e. in society. Fathers are becoming blossoms.

Have you sometimes seen, between the maternity ward of the hospital and the bus terminal, a small street procession of mother, infant and father on the way home? A sense, an air of tenderness and pride surrounds this working class family circle on the sidewalk with their umbrella, newborn and hospital bag. Fathers are sharing ownership in this blossomage, not just of the hot pulsing coitus, but also of the testing pregnancy, the painful birth and the new family. There are tender blossoms in the air and what we see on the street cannot just be a street show that fathers are putting on. Rather, behind doors, where father is man in the house, or even where he is not, and where tensions lurk, we can expect to see fathers share in cooking, cleaning, changing dia-pampers, washing, hushing, feeding, bonding, playing, romancing, providing – caring and respecting. The father blossoms belong in the home too.

FROM BLOSSOMS TO FRUIT

Father blossoms are joining with mother blooms to decorate not only the home and street: public spaces also are opening up under the blossom movement. Look at how mother space is growing in public life. Overflowing out of the home and hospital and school, and related spaces and work in garments, clerking, ships and hairstyling; mother space, too, is blossoming before our eyes.

Let us look at it this way. Before we had the father blossoms in the home and on the street, fathers dominated; we ruled the work spaces, the power spaces and the recreation spaces in public life. Who was it that populated the “professions,” the sports field, the business properties, and clubs, the media management, the opinion pages, the workers’ organizations and political leaderships, the calypso world and orchestras and the rum shops? Public space was the property of fathers, made in their likeness. Now, mother blooms take their place more and more in public life, enriching the mixture of talent, sensibility, and the skills environment; just as father blossoms are making the home a place for more effective humans to grow. Yet the blossoms – blooms movement has its growing pains and challenges to deal with. It is time for movement planning. Time to plan the way ahead from blossom and bloom to fruit and seed. As the biologist might say, we need to bring “meiosis” or sexual fertilization to the table; the movement must copulate.

The father blossoms whom we observe on the street are the young men from the lower working people sector in SVG. Do we need to pause here and reflect on that? The mothers of their children are also working class persons. Do the ‘production’ relations of this oppressed group, along with more liberal sexual practice, make them blossom more, if indeed they do blossom more openly?

A generation or two ago, we felt and heard the impact and voice of a women’s liberation movement. That women’s mobilization brought changes in policy and behaviours in favour of women; and certainly helped women to bloom and men to blossom. evidently, the young working people and the women’s movement are mostly the ones reshaping private and public gender conduct. Political policy did not start the blossom-bloom changes which we see today and innovations will not come from the state. Let us celebrate the father blossoms proto revolution in our midst and let us ask and ponder the questions: Where are we to go with this movement, and how are we to take it forward?

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